New York remains a one-party state, but signs of dissent emerge.
Thin red cracks formed in the blue bedrock of the city’s political foundation — not enough to threaten the corruption and cronyism that define New York City governance at present, but promising indicators that could one day shatter its underpinning.
Currently, New York’s City Council, composed of 51 members, has just three Republicans: two from Staten Island’s ruby-red mid-island and South Shore districts (both of which were retained), and one from Queens, encompassing Ozone Park, Howard Beach, and Breezy Point, the legendary “Irish Riviera.” The returns are still preliminary as of this writing, but it appears that the GOP could double the size of its council delegation to six.
- The Queens seat, currently held by term-limited Eric Ulrich, was contested by Joann Ariola, head of the county Republican Party, and Democrat Felicia Singh. Singh was heavily backed by the city’s progressive core and received support from the UFT and labor powerhouse 1199. She also got the nod from such radical groups as the pro-defund Black Lives Caucus and the anti-Zionist, perversely named Jewish Vote group. Ariola retained the seat for the GOP in a surprise walkover, winning 67 percent of the vote.
- Southern Brooklyn’s District 48 includes Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay, home to many Jews and emigres from the former Soviet Union. Somewhat conservative, this district nonetheless has a plurality Democratic registration, and always elects Democrats to the council. But this year, a dark-horse Republican candidate, Ukrainian-born attorney Inna Vernikov, beat the Democratic candidate, Steven Saperstein (who ran for office in 2018 as a Republican) in a landslide.
- To the east, in Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst, incumbent Justin Brannan — a former punk-rock singer tipped as a likely speaker candidate in the next City Council — narrowly trails Brian Fox, his Republican challenger, though the number of outstanding ballots remaining exceeds the slim margin. It’s exceedingly rare that incumbent council members lose, happening at most once per election cycle, and usually through a primary challenge. Brannan’s antics included tweeting emo song lyrics during the middle of the workday, perhaps turning off enough of his meat-and-potatoes district to make a difference.
- In northeastern Queens, bordering on Nassau County, Democrat Tony Avella made a game effort to reclaim his old council seat in District 19. For now, he trails Vickie Paladino in what would be a major upset, though enough absentee ballots remain to make the race a photo finish. Paladino gained notoriety in 2017 when she harangued Mayor de Blasio on the street.
From City Journal.